Bloomington City Council | WGLT

Bloomington City Council

Jenn Carrillo was censured Monday by her fellow Bloomington City Council members over her public pledge to make “life a living hell” for two recently elected council members, whose candidacies she opposed.

In a special meeting, the council voted 6-3 to formally disapprove of Carrillo’s comments. 

Carrillo along with council members Julie Emig and Jeff Crabill voted against the resolution. 

Bloomington Mayor Tari Renner and City Councilmember Jenn Carillo.
Breanna Grow / WGLT

The Bloomington City Council will have a special meeting on Monday to talk about censuring council member Jenn Carrillo.

Staff / WGLT

UPDATED 12:20 p.m. | Bloomington Mayor-elect Mboka Mwilambwe said Monday that Jenn Carrillo should face a formal vote of disapproval from her peers over her public pledge after the election to make “life a living hell” for two newly elected council members.

The Bloomington City Council on Monday adopted a $251.7 million budget, up 9.3% over last year’s plan.

Tom Crumpler and Jim Fruin

It appears there won't be a recount in Bloomington's closest city council race.

People gathered at election night watch party
Emily Bollinger / WGLT

It's easy to see that the municipal election in Bloomington did not go well for progressives. The People First Coalition went 0-for-4 at the ballot box as more conservative and centrist candidates won.

Bloomington city council candidates

It appears several newcomers will soon join the Bloomington City Council, while the progressive People First Coalition was shut out in its three council races.

Renner, Painter and Carrillo
Staff / WGLT

You don’t have to look to Washington, D.C., to find policymakers who just don’t seem to get along politically or personally.

The Bloomington City Council on Monday voted 8-1 to move forward on the nearly $12 million O’Neil Pool and Park project on the city's west side.

Tom Crumpler and Jim Fruin

The Pantagraph on Wednesday evening hosted a virtual forum for Bloomington City Council candidates. With contested seats in four wards, eight candidates fielded questions from moderator and central Illinois editor Chris Coates.

Whether and how the Bloomington City Council tackles some of the thorniest social justice issues in the community may hinge on the outcome of the April 6 election.

The O’Neil Park and Pool project, now expected to cost about $11.5 million, could be voted on by the  Bloomington City Council as early as next week. 

After a presentation at its committee-of-the-whole meeting on Monday, the council learned that despite the project’s cost coming in about $1.5 million higher than expected, City Manager Tim Gleason still supports moving forward with the city’s preferred plan. That’s nearly identical to the one presented at a community forum in January.

If approved, the new aquatic center is set to open Memorial Day 2022. 

The union that represents Bloomington Police officers has made two big-dollar campaign contributions to city council candidates, in the latest sign that local police reform efforts may hinge in part on the outcome of the April 6 election.

The Bloomington City Council on Monday OK’d spending $7.2 million on road work set to begin this summer.

Also at Monday night’s virtual meeting, finance chief Scott Rathbun made a presentation on the city's proposed $250.3 million budget, set for adoption in April; and another on this month’s unveiling of a new utility billing system. 

police car in front of Walmart
WGLT file photo

It's an issue that doesn't get much play in political campaigns, but it could have major impacts on how Bloomington and Normal governments operate for decades to come.

WGLT File Photo

Business development and revenue generation are big parts of city government. Candidates for Bloomington City Council offer different ideas on how to achieve that.

The Bloomington City Council on Monday agreed to refinance some of its general obligation bonds, a move that’s expected to save about $560,000 in interest payments. 

“We’ve done this before,” said City Manager Tim Gleason. “This is a relatively small bond refinance. But you’re going to be shocked at the amount of money we’re going to save."

Starting this fall, Bloomington officially will celebrate Indigenous Peoples’ Day the second Monday of each October. 

Breanna Grow / WGLT

The Bloomington City Council will again consider a proposal for a Welcoming Cities ordinance, nearly three years after a group of council members halted a vote on a similar proposal.

The Bloomington City Council on Monday overwhelmingly voted to join the Welcoming Network, a nonprofit group that prides itself on creating inclusive environments for immigrants through community engagement, job training and other initiatives. 

Next month, Bloomington City Council will hear a proposal on whether to research a national program that helps communities build an inclusive culture for immigrants and other populations. 

Ward 2 council member Donna Boelen presented the proposal to further study the Welcoming America Initiative during Monday's remote meeting. Despite passing 7-2, some on the council, as well as local immigrants-rights advocates, spoke against the idea.

The Bloomington City Council voted Monday night to approve a property tax levy for the 2020 fiscal year, totaling an estimated $25.6 million that will result in no change in the property tax rate. 

The levy includes financing for both the city and the Bloomington Public Library. 

The tax rate is expected to remain $1.090 per $100 assessed valuation.

Misty Metroz
Misty Metroz

An educator with no political experience says she would bring servant leadership to Bloomington if she's elected mayor next year.

Mboka Mwilambwe
Staff / WGLT

Bloomington City Council member Mboka Mwilambwe says his experience and temperament make him the best choice to lead the city, starting next year.

Tim Evanson

The dust has hardly settled from the last election and candidates already are preparing to file for the next one, the municipal consolidated contests next year.

council members at a meeting

The Bloomington City Council on Monday gave staff the OK to pursue the possibility of observing Indigenous Peoples Day each October, but not before a lengthy and sometimes testy discussion about the idea, and how it fits in with Columbus Day.

Mboka Mwilambwe
Staff / WGLT

Another Bloomington City Council member has decided against running for re-election in the spring.

Gathering outside Bloomington City Hall
Colleen Reynolds / WGLT

Bloomington Mayor Tari Renner has named Mollie Ward, co-founder of the McLean County Interfaith Alliance and leader in the Bloomington-Normal Not In Our Town movement to fill an open seat on the city council.

The Bloomington City Council on Monday narrowly approved a change to how the city's Public Safety and Community Relations Board makes recommendations and handles outreach. 

But before the 5-4 vote, council members disagreed in a lengthy discussion about whether the change constituted slightly amending bylaws to clarify the board’s purpose, or significantly broadening its mission. 

McClintock, Nick

A political newcomer has announced a run for mayor of Bloomington. He is 29-year-old Nick McClintock, a radio technician for the Illinois Farm Bureau. He also has been a part-time producer and show host for various radio stations in Bloomington-Normal.